But he could not help it. They had his whole family in an hourglass, and whenever President Trump shook it, horrible things would happen. All his brothers had been transformed into swans.
And so his punishment was to go to the lectern each morning. The curse held him. He had to stand there and say nothing (in as many words as possible). He had to stand there pronouncing hateful phrases about how the House’s American Health Care Act was superior to its predecessor since it required fewer pages, and saying it was necessary to vet a five year-old because Who Knew Who Might Radicalize these refugee babies, and admitting that, after all, Even Hitler never used gas on his own people.
This was something he was doing under duress and certainly not of his own free will. Each morning the sun rose and the hideous transformation would once more seize him, accompanied by chants of “Maga, Maga.” He would be just plain Sean Spicer, and then he would step to the lectern and be transformed into Sean Spicer, Donald Trump’s Press Secretary.
Once he had been an enormous rabbit, but that transformation was not painful like this. They had not made him speak then.
Now, horrible half-statements came skittering out of his mouth on long spindly legs in response to even the simplest questions.
He could still remember the days when he would actually get back to people with information when they asked for him. There had been a time, once. Before the curse.
Once he caught sight of his reflection in the lens of a camera and fled to the bushes, but the bushes would not cover him. He lifted his eyes to the Hill, but no help came.
The nonsense that came out of his mouth began to matter less and less.
“Holocaust Centers,” he said. It took him three tries to apologize. His mouth was beginning to forget the shape of an apology.
His answers grew vaguer and vaguer. Not that they had ever been anything less than vague. He began to forget who he had been. “Sean Spicer” he murmured, into mirrors. But when he said his name three times, Sarah Huckabee Sanders appeared in his place.
At night he worked and worked and worked, though he could scarcely recall what he was working for. He must finish knitting the thistledown shirts for his brothers or they would be stuck as swans forever. He must break the enchantment or he would have to go to the lectern another morning.
He was beginning to forget that he had ever worn another shape.
Even rabbits shied from him now. His flag pin turned upside down. He could not let the pope see him like this. He hid in a bush, but the bush spat him back out.
Soon the memories started to vanish, too. He could swear Trump did not own a bathrobe. He could swear anything.
Campaign manager Paul Manafort played a “limited role,” he could say. He could say anything. Covfefe probably meant something. Someone knew.
There were whole days when he vanished altogether.
He and Sanders took the stage together but only she appeared. They had to turn the cameras off.
The magic took its toll on him, but he held on, knitting his fingers to the bone, praying for deliverance. If Dippin’ Dots could stay in business, surely he could make it. If he could just hold on one more day —
And then one morning that deliverance came. The curse was broken. The hourglass cracked. His family was set free. He did not have to go stand upon the Hated Spot and spew the vile ambiguous words. He could reclaim his dignity. He could resume his true self, with no recollection of the past months.
Certainly you do not expect me to believe he stayed there of his own free will, and it was the appointment of a man named Anthony Scaramucci as communications director that pushed him over the edge? That Trump’s apparent total disregard for facts, precedents and democratic norms were not enough to do it, but bringing on a man named “Mooch” would be the deciding factor?
Never! He would not have stayed there all that time and said all those things if he could at any time have gotten up and walked away. Especially not looking so miserable. He has more character than that.
He did not bring this suffering on himself. How could he have? Who would do such a thing? It is far more likely that it was an enchantment, and therefore we should pity him.
No, congratulations to Sean Spicer for finally breaking the enchantment.
There can be no other explanation for why he remained.